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LOOKING FOR ON-THE-ROAD MONEY MAKING OPPORTUNITIES?

Camping

...Day Camping, Dry Camping, Boondocking...

in San Diego County, California

Low resolution photographs may be used freely for non-commercial purposes when credited to Lisbeth A. Christensen
with a link back to this page.
For full resolution photographs and commercial use please e-mail:
photos@REMOVETHIShomeofourfathers.org

NO HOT-LINKING... DON'T MAKE ME COME AFTER YOU!

We travel in a 11 ft. Lance Camper, and we live in a 35 ft. Keystone Sprinter Fifth Wheel in a campground when not traveling. For boondocking our Lance is equipped with solar power (12 V) as well as a propane generator.

BOONDOCKING

AT SHOPPING CENTERS, CASINOS, AND OTHER SEMI-PUBLIC AREAS

Generally we have found that you can boondock all day at most shopping centers without being bothered. As for night camping, it is usually important to check with security or management, but malls with Walmart stores or where one or more stores are open 24 hours, you can usually expect to stay without being bothered, as long as you keep out of the way and otherwise keep a low profile and do not become a nuisance.
Most Walmart stores in San Diego have signs prohibiting overnight parking. I will note here that although the Walmart in the College Grove Center in Lemon Grove is one of those, we have overnighted there many times without anybody expressing concern. RVs there tend to congregate in the back of the lot near the Sam's Club trailers, nice and out of the way.
Most casinos - which are plentiful in San Diego County - welcome boondockers and some have a separate area just for campers.
Saturday nights, when finding a good spot to camp in an urban area can be particularly challenging, we'll sometimes stay in a church parking lot. We enjoy "church hopping" and the next morning we'll attend services wherever we parked. It is helpful to leave a friendly note on your windshield encouraging a knock on the door if you are in the way, and letting them know that otherwise you will just see them at services in the morning.
Depending on the area, school parking lots may be available for overnight parking on the weekend. Choose only schools in low-crime areas where off-hours activity at the school is not likely to cause concern, and where no signs prohibit entry after hours or without contacting the office.
Personally, when we stay at any of these places we do NOT run the generator for extended periods or put out furniture.

BOONDOCKING

ON PUBLIC STREETS

San Diego is one of more and more cities that prohibit parking any kind of recreational vehicle in the street overnight, usually defined as 2 am to 4 am. Currently, however, it is the stated policy of the San Diego police department NOT to enforce this law, and many RVs park curbside at night. Again - keep a low profile. We make it a point to act like a parked vehicle, not like a camper, avoid being noisy or sometimes even leveling (turn off fridge!) We have also found that in areas patrolled by the Harbor Police enforcement is a lot less stringent - even about posted parking restrictions - than in areas patrolled by SDPD or the Highway Patrol.
RV street parking regulation varies from city to city in San Diego county. In Carlsbad, for instance, RVs fall under the usual 3-day limit for staying parked in the same place, while in Coronado there is a strict 3-hour limit for RV-parking on the street, however only vehicles 24 ft or longer are considered RVs for this purpose. It is wise to call ahead to the non-emergency number of local police departments to find out exactly what the restrictions are.

 

BOONDOCKING

AT REST AREAS

While some rest areas specifically state "no camping" they seem to all allow "resting." We take this to mean that sleeping in the camper is okay, whipping out the awning and setting up camp is not, and we have never been asked to move on while staying the night at a rest area.
The following rest areas are located in San Diego County:

Buckman Springs: Interstate 8, Exit 51. Stays limited to 8 hours. Restrooms, phones, picnic areas, and free RV dump station.

Aliso Creek: Interstate 5, Exit 59. Stays limited to 8 hours. Restrooms, phones, picnic areas, vending machines.

 

FREE RV DUMPS

IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

Aside from the RV dump station at Buckman Springs Rest Area, there is also a free RV dump at Anza Cove in Mission Bay. The RV dump is located at the tourist information and visitor's center near the west end of Clairmont Drive.

 

FREE WI-FI HOTSPOTS

IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

San Diego is blessed with exceptional free wireless internet coverage.

Several neighborhoods now are covered to some extent with free wi-fi, among them Barrio Logan, Golden Hill, National City, Normal Heights, San Diego Bay, Sherman Heights, and South Park.

Many "Panera Bread" locations in San Diego County offer free wi-fi. They tolerate loitering to an exceptional extent and provide lots of power outlets.

Nearly all San Diego libraries - both city and county - in San Diego County provide free wi-fi, and most provide plenty of power outlets as well.

Great parks and places for
DAY CAMPING
in San Diego County, California:

BORREGO SPRINGS

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

CARDIFF

Cardiff State Beach

Cardiff State Beach - Seaside

CARLSBAD

Carlsbad Sculpture Garden

Hosp Grove Park

Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park

Magee Park and Magee House

Rancho de los Quiotes

Stagecoach Park

CHULA VISTA

Bayside Park

Discovery Community Park

Eucalyptus Park

Friendship Park

J Street Marina

Marina View Park

Montgomery Waller Community Park

Mountain Hawk Park

Otay Lakes Park

Will T. Hyde Friendship Park

CORONADO

Coronado Central Beach

Coronado Ferry Landing

Glorietta Bay Park & Beach

Silver Strand State Beach

Tidelands Park

CUYAMACA

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park - Green Valley

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park - Paso Picacho

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park - Stonewall Mine

DEL MAR

San Dieguito County Park

EL CAJON

Flinn Springs County Park

Hillside Park

Old Ironsides County Park

Prescott Promenade

ENCINITAS

Colony Olivenhain

Cottonwood Creek Park

Encinitas School House Museum

Moonlight State Beach

Old Encinitas School House

Olivenhain Colony

ESCONDIDO

Dixon Lake

Escondido History Center

Felicita County Park

Grape Day Park

Heritage Walk Museum

Kit Carson Park

Lake Hodges

San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park

FALLBROOK

Live Oak County Park

IMPERIAL BEACH

Borderfield State Park

Dunes Park

JULIAN

William Heise County Park

LA JOLLA

Camino de la Costa Tidepools

Coast Boulevard Park

La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Hermosa Park

Torrey Pines Gliderport, San Diego, California

Windansea Beach

LAKESIDE

Barona Indian Reservation

El Monte County Park

Lindo Lake County Park

Louis A. Stelzer County Park

Oak Oasis Open Space Preserve

Victoria's Garden

LA MESA

Collier Park

Harry Griffen Park

Lake Murray

MacArthur Park

LEMON GROVE

Berry Street Park

City Center Park

Dan Kunkel Park

Lemon Grove Park

Parsonage Museum

LINDA VISTA

Kearny Mesa Park

OCEANSIDE

Heritage Park Village

PACIFIC BEACH

Kate Sessions Park

PALA

Wilderness Gardens Preserve

PINE VALLEY

Pine Valley County Park

POINT LOMA

Liberty Station Park

NTC Community Park

Shelter Island

POTRERO

Potrero County Park

POWAY

Hilleary Park

Lake Poway

Poway Lake

RAMONA

Dos Picos County Park

Luelf Pond Open Space Preserve

Ramona Community Park

RANCHO BERNARDO

Bernardo Winery

SAN DIEGO

Bahia Point, Mission Bay Park

Balboa Park, San Diego
~~~"~~~

Bonita Cove, Mission Bay Park

Calvary Cemetery, Mission Hills

Cancer Survivors' Park, Spanish Landing

Crosby Street Park and Pier, Logan Heights

Crown Point Shores, Mission Bay Park

Dana Landing, Mission Bay Park

De Anza Cove North, Mission Bay Park

De Anza Cove South, Mission Bay Park

El Carmel Point, Mission Bay Park

Enchanted Cove, Fiesta Island, Mission Bay Park

Hidden Anchorage, Fiesta Island, Mission Bay Park

Hospitality Point, Mission Bay Park

Kumeyaay Lake, Mission Trails Regional Park, Tierrasanta

Lakeview Park, Scripps Ranch

Marian R. Bear Memorial Park

Mariner's Point, Mission Bay Park

Mission Bay Model Boat Pond, Vacation Isle, Mission Bay

Mission Heights Park

Mission Point, Mission Bay Park

Mission Trails Regional Park, Tierrasanta

Mormon Battalion Museum, Old Town

North Cove, Mission Bay Park

Ocean Beach Pier, Ocean Beach

Old Trolley Barn Neighborhood Park

Olive Grove Community Park

Pioneer Park, Mission Hills

Playa Pacifica, Mission Bay Park

Plaza Del Pasado, Old Town

Quivera Point, Mission Bay Park

Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Survivors' Park

Santa Clara Point, Mission Bay Park

Ski Beach, Mission Bay Park

Spanish Landing Park

Sunset Cliffs Park

Sunset Point, Mission Bay Park

Torrey Pines State Reserve

Ventura Cove, Mission Bay Park

SAN MARCOS

Jack's Pond Park

Mulberry Park

SAN ONOFRE

San Onofre State Beach

SANTEE

Big Rock Park

Mast Park

Santee Lakes

Shadow Hill Park

Woodglen Vista Park

SOLANA BEACH

Fletcher Cove Park

Pillbox Beach

SPRING VALLEY

Bancroft Ranch House Museum

Eucalyptus County Park

Lamar County Park

VALLEY CENTER

Adams Community Park

VISTA

Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum

Rancho Buena Vista Adobe

Rancho Guajome Adobe

Rancho Guajome Regional Park

Wildwood Park

LOOKING FOR ON-THE-ROAD MONEY MAKING OPPORTUNITIES?

Photographs © Lisbeth A. Christensen (1996-2007)

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